Re-Writing My Blues

Maybe Hemingway re-wrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms seventeen or thirty-seven times, I don’t know, but I know the torment when a piece of writing is not right. I’m sure he felt mighty good about having almost finished a novel he knew would be widely read, but also that he would feel mighty bad to think he had written an ending to it that was less than his best. At this point I know that my second novel, Blues Pizza, is not my best (indeed, it is my worst). So I feel compelled to fix it. I’m not sure I can and, as a matter of fact, I can’t seem to fix the first two paragraphs of to fit my best standard. If I can’t fix the first two chapters, the whole novel will be forever laid to rest. R.I.T. (Rest In Turmoil). But for now, I’m taking another chance at giving the novel another chance. I’ve cut 12,000 words and made plans to re-arrange all the rest, but first I’m going to re-imagine and re-write those first two chapters if it kills me (or rather, if it kills the novel). I think I’ve re-written the first two paragraphs about thirty-seven times. That’s not quite enough, but it may be close.

There’s a certain satisfaction in playing a blues song well. To crawl into the back-story of the lyrics, to feel the passion there, and then to translate that into notes that fit feels good. It may also hurt, but it’s a good hurt when the played blues liberates the source of my real blues. It’s worth working for, I’d say. Onward.

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